Charles de La Fosse, the triumph of color (1636-1716) • Although almost forgotten over the past two centuries, Charles de La Fosse (1636-1716) introduced a great many new ideas during the reign of Louis XIV, of whom he was a contempory. His work bears testimony to the artistic development of Charles Le Brun under whom he studied, and that of Antoine Watteau, a close friend. Considered to be one of the greatest painters of his time, Charles de La Fosse contributed to all the royal worksites at the Tuileries, the Palace of Versailles and the Invalides, while still devoting a large amount of time to private commissions. His body of work is equally exceptional for his numerous drawings, in particular those using the “trois crayons” technique (black, red, white).
Charles de La Fosse’s work can be admired throughout the Palace, as an introduction to the monographic exhibition devoted to him in Madame de Maintenon’s Apartement. The display of major compositions in the Royal Chapel, the Diana Room and the Apollo Room – restored for the occasion – reveals La Fosse to be one of the main creators behind the decoration in Versailles.
The exhibition at the end of the tour of the State Apartments highlights the different aspects of the artist’s talent, inspired by the masters of the Académie (Poussin and Le Brun), and strongly influenced by contact with Venetian (Titian and Veronese) and Flemish (Rubens and Van Dyck) paintings to produce light seductive paintings with glowing colours. Preferring colour to lines, La Fosse’s work was extremly innovative and makes him one of the great pioneers of the 18th century.
Béatrice Sarrazin, Head Curator for Heritage, in charge of 17th century paintings at the Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon
Adeline Collange-Perugi, Curator in charge of ancient art, Musée des Beaux-Arts of Nantes
Clémentine Gustin-Gomez, Doctor in the History of Art
THE EXHIBITION • Until May 24 2015, on the occasion of the year of Louis XIV, the Palace of Versailles is hosting the exhibition « Charles de La Fosse (1636-1716), triumph of color » inside Madame de Maintenon’s Apartment and throughout the State Apartments.
Practical Information • Exhibition from February 24 to May 24 2015. Madame de Maintenon’s Apartment and trhoughout the State Apartements. The exhibition is open daily, except Mondays and public holidays (May 1st) from 9.00 AM to 5:30 PM until March 31st then from 9.00 AM to 6:30 PM beginning on April 1st. Admission included in Passport and Palace tickets bought at the Palace or online. Before paying the admission price, please check whether you are eligible for free admission.
The image above is: “Clitia changed in sunflower Charles de la Fosse”